Voters remove slavery exemption from Colorado Constitution
November 7, 2018
Slavery is officially prohibited under all circumstances in the state of Colorado after voters approved Amendment A, which removes the exception to allow slavery or indentured servitude in cases of punishment for a crime.
The majority of voters, 65 percent, voted to remove the exemption from the Colorado Constitution. These results were reversed in Moffat County, however, where 1,926 voters, or 38 percent, voted in favor of the amendment, while 3,184, or 62 percent, rejected it.
Supporters argued it was important to remove the exception for moral and ethical reasons. Though the measure will not have a direct impact on prison reform, proponents believe the change reflects the state’s values of freedom and equality, and the vote was symbolically important.
Opponents countered that Amendment A was redundant and unnecessary, saying the state already pays its prisoners 33 cents to $2.49 per day, depending on the assignment.
A similar measure, Amendment T, was on the Colorado ballot in 2016, but it narrowly failed, with 50 percent of voters against the change. Supporters believed that was due to confusing ballot language.
Both the 2016 Amendment T and this year’s Amendment A passed unanimously in the state legislature, according to Ballotpedia.